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The Power of the Cross: 63rd Edition, January 20, 2019

Mike Cleveland
 

Hello friend,

Welcome to the new subscribers just joining our newsletter. We publish once per week on Sunday. The newsletter alternates a gospel teaching on one week with testimonies from Setting Captives Free students on the following week. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging. 

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This week we have two testimonies for you, and wow, look at the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ! The first one comes from our brand new weight loss course (as of the first of January 2019) and the second from the purity course. 

The following is from a graduate of the new weight loss course, and is a compilation of her summary input on the final day, lesson 30:

Denise writes,I changed while taking this course. I came to understand Jesus in ways I didn’t before. "Suffering with Jesus" was a brand new thing to me, but it is what Jesus is calling us to do. Carrying our Cross means suffering. I learned that suffering with Jesus is good and will lead me to stop sinning. But that will only happen if I am savoring Jesus and walking with the Spirit too. I learned that while suffering with Christ doesn’t feel good, I can have joy while suffering if I just stay at the Cross.

Also, God has a purpose for suffering, and it isn't just the physical benefits like weight loss and not walking in the flesh but also spiritual benefits. Jesus wants to transform me on the inside so I can know Him more and experience more of His love because as I do, I will be more like Him and love Him more.

The last time I weighed myself (2 weeks into the course), I had lost 10 lbs. I have lost more weight since then because my clothes fit differently. I’m able to put on and take off my pants without even unbuttoning them.  I have a coat that has gotten way too big and a few pairs of pants I’m thinking about getting rid of cause they're just too loose on me now.

I’m so thankful for finding this class. For the first time in my life, I am free of the grip laziness’ and gluttony. I’m free to eat and free not to eat. I’m free from the chains of diets that were just as enslaving as gluttony and laziness. I know how to eat now. I’m not mesmerized by food anymore because I’m now becoming more and more mesmerized by Jesus, by the Cross and His big love for me.

I’m learning to feast my heart on Jesus and that is making all the difference.  I’m savoring Christ every day, I’m suffering with Him and walking with the Spirit. I don’t always do this right but on those days that I stumble, I don’t feel guilty and ashamed anymore because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m forgiven, I know I’m loved by the Father just as much as He loves Jesus and nothing I do will ever change that. I know that God is never mad at me, and He has compassion and kindness for me.  He is always eager to take me into His arms, dust me off and gently send me back on my way walking by the Spirit. That feels so good to me and makes me want to keep running to Jesus not to sin. Hallelujah, that’s the power of the Gospel! 

Savoring Christ, suffering with Christ and walking with the Spirit taught me that and has helped me to experience that.  I’m going to take these principles with me and use them in all areas of my life, Praise the Lord!"

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The following is from Daniel, a recent graduate of the Purity course:

Daniel writes, "I was raised in a Christian home with a great family. I was very involved in church and even went to a private Christian school up until college. I had always been taught that pornography was a sin and knew that it was wrong, but I can still remember being exposed to it in middle school.

I struggled with sexual sin all through high school even though I was very involved with my church and youth group. I often felt shame for my sin and tried to fight against my slavery to it. I would pray for help but would continue to fall.

When I got to college, I drifted away from the church and fell deeper into my sin slavery. My lifestyle of partying took me deeper into sexual sin as I became involved in sexual relationships. This started an almost 10-year span of living constantly in sin. I allowed my sins to control me so much so that I found myself in trouble with the law. It was a dark time, but God had plans for me.

I was encouraged by my pastor and a friend to begin the Purity course at Setting Captives Free, and what a gift it has been. I struggled with sexual impurity for 15 plus years because I was relying on myself alone to fight it. I now know that that freedom and victory is only possible if I focus on the cross and Jesus' sacrifice for me.  The only way to truly beat my sin was to recognize that Jesus already conquered it. I still have temptations and am far from perfect, but now, I know to turn to the cross and see Jesus victory
."

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Dear friend, at Setting Captives Free we are all about the power of the cross to transform lives. Our goal is to reach the world with the liberating message of the gospel, one heart at a time. If this goal resonates with your own heart, we would invite you to partner with us in ministry by giving monthly. All giving is tax deductible and you can do so here: https://settingcaptivesfree.com/donate Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free